US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Cordileone installation snub of TEC bishop in San Fran: A misunderstanding?

By Bryan Cones | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

Episcopal bishop of San Francisco, Marc Andrus, is reporting on his blog that he was disinvited from the installation of new Roman Catholic Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone last Thursday right as the service was beginning. According to archdiocesan spokesman George Wesolek, it was all a big misunderstanding caused by Andrus' tardiness. From the Religion News Service story: "We had no intention of excluding [Andrus] at all," Wesolek told The Associated Press. "If he felt like because of the wait that was insulting to him, we certainly will apologize."

Andrus had written an open letter to his diocese about Cordileone's appointment, noting that those who support gay marriage and the full inclusion of LGBT people in the life of the church should be welcomed in the Episcopal Church, leading some to suggest that the snub from the Roman Catholic archdiocese was deliberate. "Some Catholics may find themselves less at home with Salvatore Cordileone’s installation and they may come to The Episcopal Church," Andrus wrote to San Fran Episcopalians. "We should welcome them as our sisters and brothers."

Whatever the motivation for the diplomatic snafu, this is a pretty embarrassing situation; every episcopal installation I have ever been to included representatives from other local churches; indeed, their inclusion is a hallmark of the ecumenical movement. I hardly think one could even accuse Andrus of sheep-stealing, since his letter was addressed to Episcopalians, encouraging them to welcome newcomers. It hardly rises to Pope Benedict's open invitation to Anglicans to swim the Tiber.

Either way, is this how we are going to deal with our differences? The archdiocese, after all, could have just rescinded Andrus' invitation if they didn't want him to come. Keeping him in the basement until the liturgy started is something one would expect from mean-spirited kids, not grown-up baptized people with differences.